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Richmond man busted for allegedly stealing Obama van from Henrico hotel

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RICHMOND, Va.(WTVR) – A 48-year-old Richmond man arrested Wednesday for allegedly stealing a presidential van apparently boasted about the theft, according to federal officials.

The van, which officials said contained audio equipment and a teleprompter for an upcoming visit by President Obama, was stolen on Oct. 16 from a Henrico hotel near Virginia Center Commons.

Neil MacBride, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said in a news release that Eric Brown of Richmond was arrested Wednesday and charged with theft of government property.

The theft occurred at a hotel a few days prior to a speaking engagement that the President was attending in Central Virginia.

Officials said the hotel’s surveillance video system showed a darkcolored SUV driving into the hotel lot. Shortly thereafter, the truck containing the President’s equipment was driven off of the lot.

Immediately thereafter, a dark colored SUV followed the truck containing the President’s equipment off of the hotel lot.

Court documents revealed the truck contained a laptop computer, and other audio visual equipment bearing the Presidential seal.

The complaint alleges that Brown boasted of his role in the theft, sold the laptop, and possessed audio visual equipment that still contained the Presidential seal.

Law enforcement also obtained cell phone site data that allegedly showed Brown was in the vicinity of the truck at the time it was stolen.

The U.S. Secret Service, the FBI’s Richmond Field Office and the Henrico County Police Department are working this investigation.

Brown faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.